Saturday, March 31, 2018

Pink flamingos tucked away inside a Dirk Pitt tome

Today's ephemera is a reader submission from Wendyvee of the Wendyvee's Roadside Wonders ("Big, Weird, Fabulous, and Funky Roadside Finds").

It is a pink postcard of the "graceful flamingos" at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. They are lounging in their Flamingo Lagoon and probably gossiping. I mean, I might just be projecting, but it kind of looks like they're gossiping. It's probably something snarky about the ostriches. But I digress.

These gossiping pink flamingos, and their postcard, have taken the following path over the past half century...

  • The round-cornered, oversized postcard was created by Dexter Press of West Nyack, New York, and has a copyright date of 1972. (The copyright might refer to the photograph and not when the card was actually printed.)
  • It was published by Busch Gardens.
  • Wendyvee says the postcard was likely purchased during a family trip to Florida in 1981.
  • Many years later, at the family cabin, someone tucked the still-unused postcard inside a copy of the 1994 Clive Cussler novel Inca Gold. Wendyvee's dad was a big fan of Cussler's Dirk Pitt adventures, but he probably wasn't the one to place the postcard inside the book, since "he didn't use bookmarks."
  • In a clean-out before the cabin was sold, Wendyvee saved Inca Gold for herself. "I nicked it out of sentimentality," she says.
  • And then — surprise! — she found the pink flamingos postcard inside...
  • ...and mailed it to me, continuing the life cycle of a cool piece of ephemera.
  • "I had no idea about the postcard until last weekend when I moved some things on my shelf," Wendyvee writes. "Even weirder is that Dad (like me) never used bookmarks ... we just always know/knew where we were in the book."

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